NEW YORK, Jan. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "Blue Monday" is an annual phenomenon that got over 20,000 news mentions in 2016 and is the subject of a viral Facebook post seen by millions of people. Observed on the third Monday in January, it's supposedly the most depressing day of the year.
Crisis Text Line, the free, nationwide, 24/7 text message service for people in crisis, looked to its data to debunk "Blue Monday" once and for all.
The day's origins were non-scientific: a 2005 ad campaign for a travel company. The "formula" combined variables like the weather, failed New Year's resolutions, and debt to pinpoint the year's most depressing day. Dr. Cliff Arnall, the self-proclaimed inventor of Blue Monday, now fights against the observance in his Twitter bio, with the hashtag "#stopbluemonday."
In response to the Blue Monday myth, crisis services want people to know that they're ready to offer support year-round: "What people need on any day that they are experiencing emotional distress is someone to listen and offer support, which every one of us can provide. At the Mental Health Association of New York City, we work every day to make sure people have the supports and resources they need to achieve emotional well-being," said Kim Williams, President of MHA-NYC.
"The data tells us that 'Blue Monday' is a myth. Depression isn't limited to a single date. People can face crisis any day of the year," said Nancy Lublin, Founder & CEO of Crisis Text Line. "We're here 24/7/365."
What does the data say?
- For total number of texters, "Blue Monday" ranked only third out of the four Mondays in January in both 2015 and 2016.
- For conversations specifically about depression, Blue Monday has ranked in the bottom half of all days in January for three years running.
- Depression conversations do follow a pattern over the year, dipping in the summer months and peaking in February.
How to avoid the blues?
Here are some tips for staying mentally healthy during the winter months.
- Exercise! Keeping your energy up can keep your spirits up.
- Sunlight. Even a little bit of time outside can make a difference.
- Stick to a schedule. Build a routine out of activities that make you feel good.
- Set goals. Give yourself things to aspire to and hold yourself accountable for.
If you're in crisis, text START to 741741 to connect with a trained Crisis Counselor, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK.
About Crisis Text Line - Crisis Text Line serves anyone, in any type of crisis, providing access to free, 24/7 support and information via the medium people already use and trust: text. www.crisistextline.org
About MHA-NYC - MHA-NYC is a non-profit organization with local roots and a national reach that for over 50 years has been leading the way in mental health with our three-part mission of service, advocacy and education. Our mission is to identify unmet needs and develop culturally sensitive programs to improve the lives of individuals and families impacted by mental illness while promoting the importance of mental health. We break down barriers by providing care directly to those who need it, with state of the art telephone, text and web based technologies to respond to community needs where and when that help is needed. We work every single day to save lives and assist those in crisis while providing millions more with the help they need before a crisis can occur. MHA-NYC has administered the SAMHSA-funded National Suicide Prevention Lifeline since 2004. www.mhaofnyc.org
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SOURCE Crisis Text Line